photo of equipment used in materials labs

Artists to collaborate with Loughborough University’s Department of Materials later this month

Three artists will complete residencies at Loughborough University later this month as part of a new project by Radar and the Department of Materials.

Last semester Radar invited artists with an interest in materials to undertake initial research and have a tour around the facilities where they met Professor Gary Critchlow, Head of the Department of Materials. 

Each artist then submitted a proposal for a small creative research project which could be completed with assistance from researchers in the Department. From this, three were shortlisted based on their exciting and interesting proposals.

Phoebe Collings-JamesRichard Paul and Rachel Pimm will be undertaking their three-week residency in the Materials Department from Monday 25 February.

Rachel Pimm’s work investigates materials and environments with reference to their politics and capacity to transform. Her interdisciplinary practice often engages the sciences, and previous projects have seen her work with industrial mining chemists, cancer geneticists, surveyors, theoretical physicists and botanists.

Working in a variety of mediums including sculpture, performance, painting and poetry, Phoebe Collings-James work explores embodiment and cultural identity. Her sculptural work has often explored the relationships between materials and their cultural associations.

Richard Paul’s work explores the materiality of photography, striving for a point part-way between representation and the thing represented. He works with still photography and 3D video, which he creates using stereo pairs, made using two pictures taken a few centimetres apart, approximating the gap between our eyes.

During their residency, each artist will be assigned to a ‘buddy’ within the Department and will also have the opportunity to invite a guest to an ‘In Conversation’ event aimed at students – particularly those who study either art or materials - where they will discuss their work and research in more detail.

These events, which will take place in the Cope Auditorium (Epinal Way) are also open for members of the public to attend and can be booked online using the links below:

In addition, the artists will explore the processes and technologies used by researchers in the Department and consider the ways in which they might be incorporated into their artistic practices.

The residencies have been supported with funding from the Henry Moore Foundation, who have contributed £3,000 to support Radar.

The foundation was established by Henry Moore and his family in 1977 and supports innovative sculpture projects including exhibitions, publications, acquisitions and conservation through its grant programmes.

At the end of the artists’ residency, there will be a presentation of their research, which will be displayed as part of a small exhibition.

Laura Purseglove, Producer of Radar, commented: “These artist residencies constitute Radar’s first collaborative project with the Department of Materials.

“Much of our work to date has been with researchers in the arts and social sciences, but we are keen to also engage with the STEM subjects. Materials and materiality are central to the work of many contemporary artists, so this collaboration seemed a natural fit for Radar.

She added: “We are grateful to the Henry Moore Foundation for their financial support which enables this new collaboration.”

Radar is a contemporary arts programme which inspires participation and debate through cross-disciplinary working between artists and academics, by engaging with research and using it as a stimulus to inform and develop new projects. 

Radar now also has a brand-new website which is available to view here. For more information about LU Arts, visit the website.

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: 19/09

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